How Long Before Ammonia Turns Into Nitrite?

snowballPLECO

Member
It's been 8 days and Ammonia still between 1ppm-2ppm and no Nitrite readings or Nitrate at all, is this normal? I can't ever seem to find an answer online as to how long the ammonia will sit before nitrite appears... very frustrating, the ammonia levels seem to be the same every time I do the test.
 

TexasGuppy

Member
It can take a few weeks, sometimes 4-6. Some people claI'm 7-10 days, but I've not actually read details on those cycles. To does it up, temp 82, ph 7.8 and a pinch of fish food can help. There are bacteria starter bottles that can help speed it up also.
Did you use a water conditioner? Tap water has chlorine that will kill and prevent bacteria from growing. You need to treat water when doing water changes also.
 
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snowballPLECO

Member
my pH is currently @ 7.6 and temp at 81 degrees roughly, it fluxuates between 80-82, I live in AZ so it's very hot right now. Yes, prime.
 

kanzekatores

Member
Yeah, I'm wondering about that too... my nano shrimp tank often has to be cleaned because of the amount of waste they produce and the food that they are unable to find. I don't know much about it though. Water conditions have something to do with it, for sure.
 

oldsalt777

Member
Joey Fish said:
It's been 8 days and Ammonia still between 1ppm-2ppm and no Nitrite readings or Nitrate at all, is this normal? I can't ever seem to find an answer online as to how long the ammonia will sit before nitrite appears... very frustrating, the ammonia levels seem to be the same every time I do the test.
Hello Joe...

Fish and plant waste material will begin dissolving in the tank water in a matter of a few days. This is why you need to remove and replace tank water weekly. By changing out half or more of the tank water every week, you'll remove wastes before there's time for it to dissolve and turn into forms of nitrogen like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Old
 

TexasDomer

Member
oldsalt777 said:
Hello Joe...

Fish and plant waste material will begin dissolving in the tank water in a matter of a few days. This is why you need to remove and replace tank water weekly. By changing out half or more of the tank water every week, you'll remove wastes before there's time for it to dissolve and turn into forms of nitrogen like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Old
OP is asking about an aspect of the fishless cycle, so this isn't at all helpful to their question. And that's not true, weekly water changes will remove some ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, but mostly nitrates, as there will be time for the ammonia (released by fish) to convert to nitrites and nitrates between your weekly changes.

Joey Fish yes, this is normal. The bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrites seem to be the slower growing. It can take a few weeks. You can speed it up by using a good bacterial supplement, like Seachem Stability.
 

TexasGuppy

Member
"Nitrifying bacteria reproduce by binary division. Under optimal conditions, Nitrosomonas may double every 7 hours and Nitrobacter every 13 hours. More realistically, they will double every 15-20 hours."
Nitrifying Bacteria Facts
However, their optimal growth are at slightly different pH levels, so I guess if your tank is 7.8 or higher vs 7.0 or lower maybe their relative rates may swap?
I've read in several places the nitrite converting bacteria is slower to grow and seem to be confirmed by the research.
 
  • Thread Starter

snowballPLECO

Member
So is it normal not to see Nitrite yet after 9 days?
 

TexasDomer

Member
It is not unheard of
 

Fishie_Mom

Member
If you want to speed up the process you will need to add bottled bacteria. Without bottled bacteria it can take 6-12 weeks to cycle a tank. With bottled bacteria it takes 12-14 days.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Member
I usually do the "used media" method, but this time, opted to start up an additonal tank with TSS+; added NO fish, but added live plants and the TSS+ about 3-4 days after the intial set-up, and with the help of the live plants, the tank very very smoothly cycled in only 13-14 days. The used media would've likely took the same amount of time, as I've done many times before. Just gotta wait it out is all.
 

oldsalt777

Member
Joey Fish said:
It's been 8 days and Ammonia still between 1ppm-2ppm and no Nitrite readings or Nitrate at all, is this normal? I can't ever seem to find an answer online as to how long the ammonia will sit before nitrite appears... very frustrating, the ammonia levels seem to be the same every time I do the test.
Hello again Joe...

Have you considered cycling your tank with fish? Actually, this method is every efficient and and won't bother the fish if you pay close attention to the water. I used this method many years ago and I had fry in the tank at the end of the cycle. This way, you have no guesswork and you can enjoy having fish in the tank from the beginning.

Just a thought.

Old
 
  • Thread Starter

snowballPLECO

Member
I have 3 danios in my tank, 10 days since I added them.. They eat well swim great but ammonia level is 1-2ppm and no change in nitrites/Nitrates... been 10 days now, I been using Stability and Prime.. am I doing something wrong? I also have a bacterial bloom happening as we speak, tank is cloudy.
 

chadcf

Member
The last two tanks I did a fishless cycle in, I had nitrites within about 3 days. But I also used Stability to start it.

My fish in cycle tank, I never saw nitrites. Or ammonia. I had 6 zebra danios in 38 gallons and used tetra safestart and never once saw ammonia or nitrites. I figure it was such a low bioload that the bacteria from the safestart just kept up from day 1.
 

TexasDomer

Member
I would do a water change when ammonia + nitrites gets above 1 ppm since you're doing a fish-in cycle.
 

BluefishEly

Member
Joey Fish said:
So is it normal not to see Nitrite yet after 9 days?
Yes
 

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